|There’s so much pain in the world. How can I possibly make a difference? |
As a mission-driven business owner, these are the questions I ask myself daily. I’m sure you have your own version, no matter where you live or what you do.
I’m wrestling with that very question right now. It’s Monday, and two peices of hard news came in just as I was settling in to the work day: another police killing of an unarmed Black man (this time in the suburbs of my hometown Minneapolis), and a weekend COVID death of the relative of someone I hold dear.
Clearly, any shock I feel is tiny compared to those experiencing these tragedies. But collective trauma is real, and each of us has our own shared reaction to a horrific event in our community.
MAPPING YOUR ROLE IN THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ECOSYSTEM
Powerlessness is natural and common, as you surely already know. You may be wondering, “How can I do anything that’s even close to being enough?”
One day last fall when I was sensing this dejection, a friend texted and said, “You’re doing more than you think.” She’d attached an infographic that would come to change my perspective going foward.
“You’re a weaver and a guide,” she said. “Don’t underestimate your value.”
|I quickly learned the infographic was created by Deepa Iyer, a South Asian American writer, strategist, lawyer, and racial justice advocate.|
As she points out in her piece, “Mapping Our Social Change Roles in Times of Crisis,” everyone has a place in the ecosystem of social justice. It’s just a matter of identifying ours, then doing something about it.
“Many of us play different roles in pursuit of equity, shared liberation, inclusion, and justice,” Iyer says. “And yet, we often get lost and confused, or we are newcomers to ongoing social change efforts and don’t know where to start, or we are catalyzed into action in the midst of a crisis in our community.”
Her description resonated with me, and my hope is that it’ll inspire you, too.
|WHAT’S YOUR ROLE?|
Iyer’s description resonated with me, and I appreciated her vulterability about feeling “stuck in a fog, cylcling through feelings of motivation and stillness.”
As a career educator, I loved the fact that she provided a Reflection Guide to help people like us figure out how to “get in right relationship” with our values and roles.
It’s easy for any of us to think the things we’re good at are no big deal. In my case, it’s normal to think in terms of teaching classes. Anytime I learn something new, I say to myself, “Ooh, I’d love to turn that into a workshop!”
Though I once devalued my role as an educator, I no longer allow this mindset to cloud my thinking. First of all, my skill as a curriculum writer has proven to be a differentiator in the marketplace.
Now, thanks to Deepa Iyer, I see that my education background gives me a job to do in our ecosystem of social justice.
Guides teach, counsel, and advise, and Weavers connect the dots between people and ideas.
So, what’s your role? What’s one thing you can do this week to take action?
LAUNCH A CONSULTANCY THAT MATTERS
When I consider the values that inform my place in our social-justice ecosystem, one word comes to mind: empowerment.
I believe we all have the right to control how our time, talent, and energy get used. To me, the best way to engineer these things is through meaningful work.
While there are many paths to meaningful work, the path that’s resonated most with me has become self-employment. For me, this has become my best tool for gaining agency in my own life.
I now feel called to help others become empowered to use their unique talents to start a business of their own. In mid-May I’ll be launching the second cohort of my course, Launch a Consultancy That Matters.
Sign up for early bird pricing or sign up for a free 30-Minute Discovery Call to find out if it’d be right for you.
|WHAT I’M UP TO THIS WEEK|
Becoming a business owner has increased my confidence and my sense of agency. But one thing I’ve struggled with is taking time off.
Fortunately, a soulful friend of mine booked a getaway at a cabin in northern Minnesota, 3.5 hours north of home. At the last minute she decided not to go alone and invited me along.
And so, here I am, sitting next to a fireplace with an expansive view of the woods to accompany me as I type. I’ve chosen to turn this getaway week into a writing retreat.
If you want become a more delicious version of yourself, you’re in the right place. This is one of the goals of Mac & Cheese Productions, a lifestyle business founded by one of my fave entrepreneurs, the boundless Saya Hillman.
When Saya offered me the chance to become the Twin Cities chapter leader, I said yes instantly! I’m pleased to announce an online event series cooked up by a crew of us chapter leaders.
This Sunday is our first Life of Yes meetup, Set 1 Goal. If you’ve been feeling like you just can’t move forward in a goal or feeling frustration due to the times, this experience is designed to get you unstuck.
Led by Austin chapter leader, Erin Wike, this virtual meetup is a chance to gain encouragment, inspiration and structure. We’d LOVE for you to join us!